The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has inaugurated a new country office building in Haiti on the site of its previous headquarters, which was destroyed in the 2010 earthquake.
More than 200 guests attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony, led by IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno, who was accompanied by Haiti’s Prime Minister Evans Paul, Haiti’s Finance Minister and IDB Governor Wilson Laleau, other representatives of the Haitian government, and the diplomatic corps.
The new building houses one of the Bank’s largest country offices, with 85 full-time personnel, all dedicated to working with the government and private sector to build institutional capacity, improve quality of life, and increase economic opportunity in the Caribbean nation.
The building was designed and constructed to meet the most stringent of international structural and seismic standards and incorporates a number of sustainability features, including solar panels for electricity generation, rainwater harvesting, insulated walls, and occupancy sensors for lighting control. The building also utilizes an open space plan, which contributes to and reflects the Bank’s goals of efficiency, collaboration, innovation, and transparency.
Its design reflects the Bank’s commitment to inclusion, as it is fully accessible to those with disabilities. The building includes several spaces designed for use by clients and partners. More than 200 Haitian workers were employed in its construction.
Completion of the building coincided with the midpoint of the IDB’s 10-year, $2.2 billion commitment to support the Haitian government’s efforts to improve the efficiency of its operations, increase economic opportunities and improve quality of life. After the 2010 earthquake, the IDB pardoned Haiti’s $484 million in debt with the multilateral institution and agreed to provide all future aid in the form of nonreimbursable grants, at the rate of $200 million a year from 2010 through 2020.
In his remarks at the inaugural ceremony, President Moreno described the moment as “one of transition, shifting from primarily addressing urgent post-quake demands related to the most basic elements, such as providing food, shelter and water, to a more forward-looking set of sustainable initiatives that will improve lives.”
- Anna E. Cabral